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tv   ABC World News With Diane Sawyer  ABC  November 11, 2010 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

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6:00. tonight on "world news" from phoenix, arizona, cruise blues. thousands of weary passengers return to tell what really happened on that crippled cruise ship. border bungle. the virtual fence supposed to end illegal immigration turns out to be a major failure. fuzzy cameras, bad radar, a billion dollars wasted. "world news" holding them accountable. walmart trump card. offering free delivery of holiday gifts amid signs retail could roar back for christmas. and, veterans day. here in phoenix, we had a chance to watch the parade, talk to veterans. and, we'll bring you the story of a vet giving wounded warriors the work they need. good evening from phoenix,
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arizona, on this veterans day. and it is beautiful here. we have come here to meet with students at the watl walter cronkite school of journalism. but at the top of the news, everyone out west is talking about, and back east, as well. that cruise ship fiasco, the 4,500 people towed into port today, just a few hundred miles away in san diego. and david wright is in san diego tonight. he met with the passengers to hear the details of their survival stories. david? >> reporter: good evening, diane. quite a day here dockside in san diego. you can see that giant cruise ship behind me, going nowhere fast. but the passengers were sure in a hurry to disembark. at daybreak this morning, the splendor managed to look splendid as six tiny tugboats dragged the crippled cruise liner slowly into san diego bay. but aside from one lone jogger out for a few final laps on the track, the passengers looked like they couldn't wait to get off.
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the passengers are all gathered on deck. and we can hear shrieks of joy coming from the ship. they're no doubt looking forward to hot coffee, a hot shower and no more spam sandwiches. and they were clearly delighted to be on dry land again. >> we can beat anybody's bad honeymoon story. we got it beat. >> reporter: some celebrated with song. ♪ the power blew due to a smoke fire ♪ ♪ the toilets did not work ♪ our food was vegetables and fruit ♪ ♪ on the two-day return >> reporter: others with tearful reunions. >> we were worried. we knew they were okay, but just to hear her tell me she's okay, that's what i needed. >> reporter: the splendor's voyage may have been a disaster. but thankfully it wasn't a disaster. no one was hurt. the meals and other creature comforts were the big casualties. and the pictures they took on board are not your standard fare for a luxury voyage. this is at least the fifth carnival cruise ship to catch
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fire in recent years. and authorities say it's lucky the splendor was so close to shore or the rescue would have taken much longer. >> way to go, you guys are survivors. >> reporter: today newlyweds joey and stacey noriega wasted no time getting to the airport, where stacey's dad greeted them with a basket of treats. as for the offer of another free carnival cruise, they say thanks, but no thanks. >> if we do go, i'm not going for a long time. i'm enjoying the land right now. >> reporter: tonight, carnival cruise lines was quick to correct the record, tweeting that despite media reports to the contrary, carnival guests were never served spam. the navy did deliver cases of the stuff but apparently the cruise line decided best not to serve it. diane? >> not served under glass on those tables. thank you, david wright. what a voyage that was. and, overseas tonight, president obama is trying to put the best face he can on the diplomatic disappointment during the economic summit with 20 world leaders.
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the chinese said no to leveling the currency playing field, and the south koreans balked at buying more u.s. goods, which would pump up american jobs. jake tapper traveling with the president tells us what the setback means. >> reporter: at their joint appearance here in seoul, president obama tried to put a positive spin on his failure to push the south koreans on a free trade agreement. one that could increase u.s. exports by $10 billion and support more than 70,000 u.s. jobs. >> we believe that such an agreement, if done right, can be a win-win for our people. >> reporter: but so far, south korea will not open its markets in any meaningful way to american beef or, perhaps most contentiously, cars. because of korean trade rules, u.s. automakers exported just over 6,000 vehicles to south korea last year. korean automakers sold 735,000 cars and light trucks in the u.s. and that was not the only major roadblock here. >> we've got a special
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obligation to deal with ensuring strong, balanced and sustainable growth. >> reporter: president obama made no progress convincing chinese president hu jintao to stop what the white house believes to be the artificial weakening of china's currency. experts say the chinese are manipulating their currency, making it cheaper to manufacture goods in china and cheaper to sell those goods overseas. >> the currency manipulation has cost us 20 million jobs, 10 million that we've lost by the chinese destroying a lot of our manufacturing industries. >> reporter: but china is now fighting back, suggesting that the u.s. is itself guilty of currency manipulation, pointing to the recent decision by fed chair ben bernanke to inject $600 billion into the fragile u.s. economy to help create jobs. this leg of the president's asian swing may come to be seen as only serving to illustrate the limits of american influence. jake tapper, abc news, traveling with the president in seoul, south korea. and, on the question of the american economy, last night, we
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told you about a presidential commission essentially telling congress to get real about reducing debt, issuing tough proposals to cut the nation's $14 trillion debt by raising taxes and remaking social security rules. so, what about the politicians and experts? what were they saying about tough medicine today? jon karl tried to get the answers. >> reporter: today, the president made it clear. there's only one way for the debt commission's plan to fly. >> the only way to make those tough choices historically has been if both parties are willing to move forward together. >> reporter: his biggest obstacle seems to be his own party. the plan was immediately denounced by democrats from nancy pelosi on down. the head of the afl-cio said, quote, "the chairman of the deficit commission just told working americans to drop dead." the liberals say no way to all the spending cuts, especially to social security. what about the republicans?
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they campaigned endlessly on cutting the deficit. >> a debt of $14 trillion. now congress wants to pile on more spending. >> reporter: a few key republicans praised the commission for making a good start. but so far, the overwhelming reaction from most republicans has been silence. there may be a good reason for the republican silence. after all, 234 of the republicans just elected to the house, that's all but five of them, signed a pledge promising not to raise taxes. the president set up this commission in february with one rule. >> everything's on the table. that's how -- that's how this thing is going to work. >> reporter: judging from the initial reaction, you might think nothing is on the table. jonathan karl, abc news, washington. and, on this veterans day, when we're focused on the men and women who serve in the military, there is headline news about america's current armed forces, and the don't ask, don't tell, debate. an upcoming pentagon survey
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finds more than 70% of all troops say allowing gays to serve openly would not hurt the military. the exception? the marines. why? here's martha raddatz. >> the few, the proud, the marines. >> reporter: marines, who have the toughest physical standards, more frequent combat deployments, the fewest percentage of women, by far, and are also the youngest force, with 60% under the age of 22. all resulting in a macho decor in which marines pride themselves. that deeply patriotic, high octane approach to recruiting may be one reason that 40% of marines don't want to see gays serving openly, higher than any other service. there is a more practical reason the marines cite, as well. every marine has a roommate. >> unlike the other services, we
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have consciously, for decades now, billeted by twos. so, if the law changes, we start out with a problem in terms of how to address that. >> reporter: and general conway and his replacement general jim amos have both said they do not want to see the policy changed. given the extraordinarily tight bonds of the marine corps, statements like that most certainly affect the thinking of the younger marines general amos now leads. the chiefs of the other services have expressed concerns about the policy change, as well, but nothing like general amos, who has gone so far as to say it is a risk to unit cohesion during wartime. diane? >> martha raddatz reporting tonight. thank you, martha. and returning back here to arizona, as the world knows, there's no issue that is a greater lightning rod than immigration. and we're going to show you what is really going on with a big project that made nationwide headlines. for years, top officials touted the idea of a vir schul fence along the border.
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$850 million, already spent, but as john quinones found, the plan has gone bust and we wanted to know who is accountable for all that taxpayer money. >> reporter: in 2006, this was supposed to be the answer to illegal immigration in the u.s. >> this is about a solution which we believe is going to do the job. >> reporter: a virtual fence that was supposed to be a high tech wonder. designed to help the border patrol identify and thwart human trafficking and drug smuggling. but today, the virtual fence is being panned as a jumble of weak cameras providing blurry images, unreliable radar that sometimes confuses cars for humans and it performs poorly in bad weather. four years and countless setbacks later, the federal government is saying enough is enough. today, the one thing that both republicans and democrats agree upon is that this costly project in the desert is one colossal failure. >> we cannot continue to invest
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hundreds of million of dollars of taxpayer money into something if we're not confident it's really going to work. >> this virtual fence, which has already consumed hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer's money, has been a complete failure. >> reporter: so, who is accountable? just about everyone involved in the project. two different administrations, two different homeland security departments, congress and the company that built the virtual fence. the boeing company received almost $1 billion of taxpayers money for the effort and appears to be in denial. in a statement, the company says "boeing stands behind its work on the sbi net system as a reliable, effective border security tool." but in southern arizona, some border patrol agents say no technology can replace boots on the ground. >> until we get something that can look through a tree, i don't think we're going to see technology replacing the agent. >> reporter: and what about the real fence being built along the border?
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well, it only covers 640 miles. that leaves more than 1,300 miles of open border as porous as ever. john quinones, abc news, tucson, arizona. and still ahead on "world news," walmart has a surprise this holiday. free shipping? and, a new kind of boot camp for injured military vets. those who want a new path. okay, now here's our holiday gift list. aww, not the mall. well, i'll do the shopping... if you do the shipping. shipping's a hassle. i'll go to the mall. hey. hi. you know, holiday shipping's easy with priority mail flat rate boxes from the postal service. if it fits, it ships anywhere in the country for a low flat rate. yea, i know. oh, you're good.
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[ male announcer ] so don't blame it on aging. talk to your doctor r and go to isitlowt.com to find out more. everyone is cautious about optimism on the economy, but there are new numbers showing shoppers are coming back in force and stores are hiring. and for online shoppers, an early present. a price war over free shipping. here's sharyn alfonsi. >> reporter: shoppers are buying again. credit card companies reporting today that retail sales are up more than 3%. now stores are battling for those customers. walmart announcing today they'll offer free shipping on some 60,000 items over the holidays. >> traditionally shoppers have done a lot of browsing online and then to avoid the shipping charge, they'll go into the store to buy. but this is a game changer. >> reporter: sears, for the first time ever, is opening on thanksgiving day. other stores are adding more help. best buy plans to hire 29,000 seasonal workers.
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toys r us, 45,000 and jcpenney, 30,000. >> we have every reason to believe it's going to be a good holiday for us. >> reporter: joe cardamone has been working for jcpenney for 36 years. walking the aisles of his store, he sees in a pile of picked over sweaters signs of an economic turn around. they're doing very well right now. >> reporter: and that's a good sign? >> it's a good sign it will be a good holiday for this category of merchandise. >> reporter: sweaters are an economic indicator? >> absolutely, they are. >> reporter: but it's not just big chains feeling encourage. this small popcorn shop outside denver. >> we're going through what appears like it's going to be our very best year we've ever had. >> reporter: they plan to hire a dozen employees for the holidays. retailers added 159,000 seasonal jobs just last month. three times more than last year. still, the competition for those jobs is stiff. how many people are there applying? >> there's a huge line at jcpenney right now. >> reporter: of people looking for work? >> yes. >> reporter: many of the
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applicants, laid off white collar workers, now willing to fold sweaters. you are hiring 150 people. how many will apply for those jobs? >> probably well over a couple thousan thousands. it's outstanding. >> reporter: and we took note of another sign the economy may be bouncing back today. in minnesota, inside the giant mall of america, there's not a single empty store front. every space is leased. that's the first time that's happened in the mall's 18 years. diane? >> oh, hearts do want to rise a bit. thank you so much, sharyn alfonsi. great to hear from you tonight. and coming up, king kong, romeo and juliet, conan the barbarian. they lost someone they all had in common. they lost someone they all had in common. but if you have arth, staying active can be difficult. prescription celebrex can help relieve arthritis pain so your body can stay in motion.
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about how you can move toward relief. the latest casualty of the internet to report tonight, the white pages. new york, florida and pennsylvania are doing away with the residential part of the phone book. the rationale? bad for the environment, and already available online. by the way, the first phone book was printed in 1878, it was one page, 50 names, and the yellow pages are still alive and well
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for anybody who is asking. and, a question, did google almost start a war? when a nicaraguan military commander consulted google maps, this is what he saw. so, he sent troops to that border. but it turns out google maps had goofed. this is the real border. and his troops were on costa rican soil. the costa rican president called it an invasion, sent in armed police. neither side is backing down, except google, acknowledging the mistake and promising to fix it. and, for seven decades, dino de laurentiis produced hollywood classics including "conan the barbarian." he was born the son of a pasta maker outside naples, italy. he brought both romeo and juliet and king kong to life, calling the latter the greatest love story of all time. and he died today at 91. coming up, they defended the american dream. now, a way to help them achieve it for themselves.
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all along the parade route, they were just shouting "thank you, thank you." old warriors from world war ii. those from korea, from vietnam, from iraq, afghanistan. lining the streets along with their fellow americans who are just thankful for their service. some brought their kids. one group of vietnam vets rode on motorcycles and brought their snakes. they readily said they're used to draw attention to who they are and what they did. well, thank you for sharing. and all over phoenix, restaurants like famous dave's barbecue treated veterans today to free meals. included them as honored guests. and some of them brought souvenirs from the days when they fought for the land of the free, with the young hearts of the brave. look at you. >> 17. >> reporter: yeah. >> i'm 76 now. >> reporter: don't look a day older.
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so wonderful to see them here in phoenix. but as we all know, so many veterans who have returned home have been in need of a little help realizing their american dream. and ron claiborne takes a look at one program making sure they do just that. >> reporter: as a proud marine, john raftery took part in the u.s. invasion of iraq. he returned home physically intact, but psychologically scarred. >> it was a very dark time in my life. >> reporter: suffering from ptsd, raftery heard about a business program at syracuse university for people like himself. disabled veterans of the iraq and afghanistan wars. he applied and was accepted. >> where do you think you find opportunity? >> reporter: it's called the entrepreneurship boot camp for veterans. the brain child of mike haynie, a former air force officer, now business professor at syracuse. its aim? to teach disabled veterans who have had a hard time fitting into a 9:00 to 5:00 job, how to start their own small business. >> a bomb blast of a gunshot has
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changed their lives forever. if they can craft a vocation for themselves through self-employment, they can craft that vocation in a way that allows them to accommodate some of those challenges. >> reporter: the program was just expanded to family members caring for severely injured vets. in the first class, nelida bagley, whose son, jose poqueno was severely brain damaged by a grenade in iraq. five years ago, she quit her job in new hampshire and moved to florida to take care for her son. >> he doesn't speak. he doesn't move. he's 100% care. we have to do everything for him. >> reporter: she wants to learn how to start a business assisting other caretakers of wounded vets from her home. so she can be with her son. >> this program gives me the opportunity to have an outlook at the future and say there is a light at the end of that tunnel. >> reporter: about half of the 320 wounded vets who went through the program now have businesses up and running. restaurant owners, a moviemaker and john raftery, whose construction company is on track to bring in $3 million this year.
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for these men and women who risked their lives for america, a new shot at the american dream. ron claiborne, abc news, syracuse, new york. >> and tonight, we all salute them. we'll see you again tomorrow night from out west. until then, good night. this is a man whose marital problems tied up traffics for two hours today. tonight what led him to do it. >> the price of police protection in the aftermath of the bart shooting. million dollar dispute over who should pick up the tab. >> he might have been the next
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mayor of oakland. tonight, he wants another look at how the choice was made. >> it's confronted. >> and tonight the misinformation adding to the chaos of the san bruno explosion. >> pro testers have forced the closure of the fruit veil bart station where oscar grant was shot and killed last year. >> tonight's protest is supposed to be directed at oakland police who shot and killed another unarmed man, derek jones monday night. >> abc 7 is live on the scene for us. >> well, they do see parallels and as you said, pro testers have managed to shut down this bart station, the gates are down, and no trains are going through here. the demonstrateor arrived about 5:00 tonight and

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